Flipping Property...Buffalo Style

While Mark Odien and Michele Johnson are bringing Flipped to a movie theatre near you, one of the largest flippers of abandoned, derelict and vacant property is the City of Buffalo. In 2003 the City of Buffalo sold tax liens to MBBA, which is part of the New York State Housing Finance Agency. And while MBBA has JER Services manage the tax liens, 100's of houses sit derelict in Buffalo, NY. Read more about this debacle here from, PUSH Buffalo.

I've placed the full inventory of these 1500 properties on a "social spreadsheet" that you can view, search and share as you would any other website.
City of Buffalo - Flips 1500 Properties
(may take 10-15 seconds to load)
Veteran Buffalo, NY housing activist Dick Kern recently e-mailed me:
The recent discussion of "shaming" individual owners of derelict properties did not address the difficulty learning WHO owns the property, especially if a government agency is involved.

Recently PUSH Buffalo exposed the fact that the City several years ago 'flipped' about 1,500 tax foreclosed properties to NYS-MBBA & its agent JER.

Incredibly, there is no public information about where those 1,499 properties are, because they are all still listed on the City web site under the names of the foreclosed owners, who no longer have any control over the properties...depressing reading about 100's of worthless properties, 80% of which need demolition according to PUSH leader Eric Walker, especially in the Fillmore District.
Interesting, I saw Flipped the other night at the Market Arcade. While chatting with people in the lobby after the movie someone pointed out that Stephen Banko, aka HUD in Buffalo, was leaving a different show. Coincidence? I learned that HUD is featured prominently in Mark and Michele's movie and as they make clear at the end of the movie, HUD would not return calls or answer questions that were raised during the movie's production. Too bad that in yesterday's Buffalo News the same Stephen Banko has more to say about the war in Iraq than the battles perpetrated by the federal agency he represents - HUD - on the streets of Buffalo, NY. Shame Stephen, HUD is sadly predictable. Stop running for cover and answer Mark's questions about HUD's role in flipping Buffalo's inner City property. Certainly there is nothing to hide, is there?

I'd pay to see the interview, especially if Dick Kern was sitting down with Mark Odien across the table from Mr. HUD.

Michele, consider a sequel. Screwed, could easily star our Council President and someone from HUD.
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